The Bulkley Valley Bowman continue to build the sport of archery as they prepare for another year of the Jr. Olympic Program, helping young archers achieve their potential.
“Archery is growing by leaps and bounds at this particular time,” acting BV Bowman President, Larry Lee said.
“A lot of it, I think, is due to the hunting seasons that are provided for bow hunting. Bow hunters like to have a place to practice. We have full size 3D shoots that we mark and score. We also have a beautiful range where we can sight in and feel confident about our distances and be successful hunting.”
The BV Bowman have coached athletes through the JOP for several years. However, recently the number of participants have been down slightly. This season the club is looking to change all that.
“This program has been going on for many years and the interest comes and goes with the interest of the veteran members wanting to help the young people,” Lee explained.
Starting June 5, Lee will be coaching young archers on safety and proper technique with a bow. Giving them the right tools to progress and gain the confidence to compete.
Recently the Bowman held their annual spring jamboree and with the overwhelming number of youth involved with the club, Lee’s phone has been flooded with calls about the JOP.
“Initially we want a lot of beginners so we can teach them the basics and safety of archery,” Lee said.
“Those who want to continue with it, we want to mentor them so they are able to compete at a local, provincial, national and even international level someday.”
Archers in the program progress through a series of qualification targets, judged by distance and size. A beginner will shoot from about 25 metres, at a target 30 centimeters in diameter. Once an archer’s skills develop they will shoot targets 70 metres away at about 122 centimeters in diameter.
However, this kind of interest in archery from youth is seldom seen, according to Lee.
Earlier in the year Lee visited a club in Arizona. He mentioned there were virtually no young members, which begs the question of survival for those clubs. But here in the Bulkley Valley, archery continues to flourish.
“I think it’s because of facilities and opportunities at the BV archery club in Smithers, it’s family oriented and has family activities other than just archery that draws people to want to be here,” Lee said.
The BV Bowman hold training sessions for the Jr. Olympic Program every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the archery range, next to the fair grounds. The program is free for all club members and youth of all ages are encouraged to participate.
For more information contact the BV Bowmen at 250-846-5957.